The Necessity of a Compass As Boat Equipment

The boat equipments are essential tools that are a prerequisite for an ideal journey. Directions are required in all lifestyles. The compass is the boat equipment, which helps us to show the direction where we are sailing. Plastimo, a leading compass manufacturer, is considered as the No. 1 in the world in manufacturing compass to ensure a safe journey.

Prior to the purchase of boat equipment, it is essential to establish what exactly your actual requirement is. It is first to be diagnosed the nature of your boating equipment required. If your interests happen to be day sailing, cruising, passage making, you may select a right card balanced for your proposed geographical destination.

A larger compass will be required if it is required to view from a distance. It is advised to use a compass as a boat equipment which can be read from a distance. It is essential that you pay heed to the color and design of the compass to ensure its compatibility with the boat.

You must ensure that for proper use of the compass as boat equipment, it is essential to have the right card. A flat card is read on the back edge while a conical or cylindrical card is read from the front and top of the card.

==> The compass, boat -equipment needs to be properly installed on the boat.

Flushmount on Horizontal surface

Flushmount on Vertical or Inclined Surface which is often referred to as blackhead compass or dashboard compass


Binnacle for steering wheel

Mini Binnacle



On Fixing bracket.

A query that exists in the mind of the customers is whether the compass needs to be compensated. On consideration of the fact that you are using it primarily as a navigation tool, it is important to have it compensated. It is to be understood that magnetic interviews on the boat affecting this boat- equipment can occur due to usage of electronic equipment like loudspeakers and engine.

Exercise After Liposuction-10 Exercises to Improve Your Liposuction Resullts

The perception of appearance depends on the concept of proportion and symmetry. There is even a mathematical formula, the phi ratio, which proves this. Your ultimate beauty depends on how the various parts fit together. While it is usually felt that plastic surgery and exercise are mutually exclusive, I feel the reverse is the case. There is a true symbiosis between them.

Dissatisfaction with certain areas of your body led you to undergo liposuction. You had these stubborn areas of fat that the procedure removed. Of course you look better but do you look as good as you can? Does the body as a whole have its ultimate look or can some spots be refined with the proper exercises to bring the whole package into ideal aesthetic proportion and symmetry?

The liposuction set the stage to allow the results of the proper exercises to be more appreciated. However, all exercise regimens are different in what they accomplish in respect to sculpting the body. The exercises that follow are the ones which are specifically designed to contour and define the torso and the limbs.

Too many people assume that preferred method of exercise is aerobics. While this does reduce your overall body fat percentage, it merely leaves you as a smaller version of how you started. A large pear becomes a small pear.

Others, caught up in the catch word of the day, concentrate on core training as is emphasized with yoga and Pilates. Again, you definitely gain in fitness but both yoga Pilates lack the ability to spot enhance to ideally proportion the body.

Training with machines is like using stencils. They seem simple to use but keep you locked in directions that may not be ideal for your anatomy.

Following liposuction, the need is to re-proportion the body to match the surgically improved areas as well as maintaining these improvements. The abdomen, hips, thighs and buttocks can now be further tightened. The arms, shoulders and legs can be sculpted and defined. Here are the ten exercises to improve your liposuction results.

I’m sure everyone wants a firmer, shapelier derriere.

Wide stance or sumo dumbbell squat

Hold a dumbbell in each hand, palms facing in, hanging down. Keep your head up, eyes looking directly in front of you, back straight and your feet spaced as wide as comfortable. Either hold a dumbbell in each had or a vertically oriented heavier dumbbell with both hands between your thighs. Inhale and squat down until your upper thighs are parallel with the floor. Keep your back straight and knees wide apart. Return to the starting position and exhale. The descent should be slow and controlled. The ascent should be accelerated. Repeat.

Dumbbell front lunge

Hold a dumbbell in each hand, palms facing in, hanging down. Keep your head up, eyes looking directly in front of you, back straight and your feet about a foot apart. Inhale and step forward with your right leg as far as possible until your right thigh is parallel to the floor. Your left leg should be held as straight as possible, not bending at the knee any more than is necessary. Step back to starting position. Do the required number of repetitions and repeat with the other leg.

Dumbbell stiff legged dead lift

Using a foot stance slightly narrower than shoulder width, hold a dumbbell in each hand. Keeping your legs straight, back straight and head up inhale and lower the weights until you feel a stretch in the back of the legs. Then keeping the legs straight and back straight, return to the upright position while exhaling.

Now we have what I call the spaghetti strap exercises.

Bent over two dumbbell rowing- elbows forward

Using a close foot stance, place a dumbbell on each side of your feet. Bend forward at the waist and grasp the dumbbells in both hands with your knees slightly bent to take the pressure off your lower back. Turn your palms to face your legs. Pull the dumbbells directly up to the sides of your chest keeping your elbows out and your upper arms perpendicular to your body. Hold momentarily and then slowly lower the dumbbells under control. Exhale as you lift and inhale as you lower. Keep the back straight and the head up.

Hand on bench one arm dumbbell rowing-palm facing in

Place a dumbbell on the floor along side a flat bench. Place the right knee and your right palm on the bench with your back straight and parallel to the bench. Grasp the dumbbell in your left hand with the palm facing the bench and extend your left leg back. Keeping the elbow close to the body, pull the dumbbell straight up to your chest. Hold a moment and then lower slowly under control. Perform the desired number of repetitions and then reverse position with your left knee and left palm on the bench, your right leg back and the dumbbell in your right hand. Remember to keep the elbow in close to the body as you lift the dumbbell.

To firm, define and reduce the jiggling of the arms, we have the following trio.

Rotating lateral-front raise

Stand with your feet shoulder width apart. Grasp a dumbbell in each hand hanging at arms length with your palms facing your thighs. Keeping the arms straight, raise the dumbbells to a little above shoulder height, keeping the arms parallel to the ground rotate the dumbbells forward to touch in front of your chest. Keeping the dumbbells together, with the palms facing down, lower the dumbbells to the front of the thighs with the palms facing the thighs. Maintaining the dumbbells in front of you, lift them in a semicircular path to in front of your face with the arms parallel to the ground. Keeping the arms parallel to the ground, rotate the dumbbells laterally and lower to the sides. The motion is raising to the side, lowering to the front, then raising to the front and lowering to the sides. Repeat for the desired number of repetitions.

Alternating hammer curls

Hold a dumbbell in each hand and stand erect with the feet about shoulder width apart. Keep your back straight. Bend the knees slightly to relieve pressure on the lower back. The dumbbells are hanging at arm’s length at your sides with the palms facing in. Curl the dumbbell in your right hand, maintaining the position of the palm facing in to the level of the right shoulder. Lower under control with the palm facing inward until the dumbbell is in the original position. Now do the same motion with the left hand as the right hand remains by your side. Alternate the two hands.

Lying supine two dumbbell triceps press

Lie on a flat bench. Hold a dumbbell in each hand with palms facing one another and lift them to arms length keeping them in line with your shoulders. Inhale and lower both dumbbells straight down in a semicircular motion by bending your elbows but keeping your upper arms vertical and elbows pointed to the ceiling throughout the movement. The dumbbells should be lowered until the forearms and biceps touch. Lift the dumbbells back to the starting position using the same path as your exhale.

To get that tight, flat abdomen, try these.


Lie on the floor with your knees bent at a 45 degree angle. Cross your arms over your chest. Inhale and contract your abdominal muscles to lift your shoulders off the floor. Squeeze the abdominal muscle and hold for a moment. Return to the starting position and exhale. Once you can do 15 repetitions, hold a 15 pound dumbbell on your chest. Progress to heavier weights as you can complete 15 repetitions.

Reverse crunch

Lie on your back with your legs straight up in the air. Steadying yourself with your arms, lift your buttocks up and hold, pushing your toes toward the ceiling. Lower slowly and repeat until failure.

The proper exercise training can greatly enhance the results of liposuction. Why settle for less?


Discover the Sophisticated Side of Mickey Mouse

Is it possible for sophisticated travelers to really enjoy themselves in the land of Mickey Mouse? Absolutely! Walt Disney World has undergone a transformation much like that of Las Vegas, with an abundance of fantastic themed resorts and sumptuous dining choices.

Maybe your image of Disney is of lackluster, motel-style accommodations. Not so! All deluxe property choices are unique and offer that special Disney touch. You'll find them to be adorned with impressive lobbies, painstakingly landscaped grounds, first-rate restaurants, elaborately themed pools, and gracious accommodations. All offer top-notch recreational facilities and services. In fact, each resort is so remarkable it can be difficult to choose which fantasy you wish to indulge.

Let me tell you about my favorites:

O Disney's flagship Resort, The Grand Floridian, with its red-gabled roofs and Victorian elegance, draws inspiration from the grand Florida seaside "palace hotels" of 19th-century America's Gilded Age. Just a short monorail ride to the Magic Kingdom, it spreads along the shore of the Seven Seas Lagoon with spectacular views of Cinderella's Castle and the Wishes fireworks display. Aquatic enticements include a crescent white sand beach dotted with brightly striped, canopied lounge chairs, a large renovated pool in the central courtyard, a new beachside Florida springs-style pool, and a classy marina sporting a wide assortment of watercraft. A full service health club and spa, tennis courts, five restaurants, two lounges, and sophisticated shopping round out the list of exceptional offerings.

O A navy blue blazer should be in order for a stay at Disney's Yacht Club where guests find the sophisticated ambience of a posh Eastern seaboard hotel of the 1880s. Fronting Crescent Lake and a sliver of beach that stretches over to the adjoining Beach Club Resort, it's just a short stroll to Epcot's International Gateway entrance and only a boat ride away to Disney-MGM Studios. Best of all is the Yacht Club's 3-acre mini-water park complex, Stormalong Bay, offering sandy bottom pools, a huge "shipwreck" waterslide, a tidal whirlpool, bubbling hot tubs, a kiddie pool with its own slide next to the beach , And enough length to float lazily in inner tubes to your heart's content.

O The Animal Kingdom Lodge is a stunning celebration of African wildlife, culture, cuisine, and art. Its authentic architecture and 33 acres of grasslands filled with hundreds of roaming, exotic animals is simply a stroke of genius. The six-story, horseshoe-shaped structure is surrounded by a landscape of golden boulders, tall bamboo, yellow flame trees, pampas grass, copperpod trees, and date palms. In it's imposing, 5-story, thatched roof lobby are massive chandeliers formed by resplendent Masai shields, a large mud fireplace, and handsome safari-chic seating. From common lookouts as well as 90% of the guestrooms are wonderful views of playful zebra, lanky giraffe, sprite gazelle, huge ankole cattle, herds of wildebeest, flocks of exotic birds, and more, with over 200 animals in all.

O Last but not least is The Wilderness Lodge, Disney's dramatic depiction of an early 1900s national park resort. I challenge you to keep your jaw from dropping open on your first encounter with its awesome eight-story lobby of ponderosa pine logs, a massive 82-foot tall fireplace, and authentic 55-foot Pacific Northwest totem poles. Outside is a breathtaking scene of sparkling waterfalls, rushing creeks, and towering pines. The sound of crickets is hear benefit the bridges and along the meandering pathways lined with natural grasses, junipers, and wildflowers. And on the shores of Bay Lake is Wilderness Lodge's very own erupting geyser surrounded by a steaming expanse of geothermal activity.

What about Disney's dining choices? Once just a hot dog and hamburger haven, Disney's reputation for dreadful theme park food is now a thing of the past. Think Pan Roasted Striped Bass with Aromatic Rock Shrimp Lemongrass Risotto, 6-Hour Braised Veal Shank with Orzo Pasta and Soy Glaze, or Cornbread Stuffed Quail with Foie Gras and Sauce Maltaise. Just a mere sampling of the incredible meals to be found at many of the over 270 dining spots on Disney property. In a radical culinary transformation Disney hired top-notch chefs to create exciting menus for some of the highest rated restaurants in the country and first-rate sommeliers to fashion outstanding wine lists.

Here are some of Disney's best restaurants:

O The California Grill on the 15th floor of Disney's Contemporary Resort offers an unbeatable panorama of the Magic Kingdom and the Seven Seas Lagoon along with picture-perfect views of the Wishes fireworks. From pristinely fresh sushi to exceptional New American Cuisine to sensational desserts and an outstanding California wine list, this place has it all. Do not be discouraged if all the coveted window seats are taken; An adjoining observation platform offers a bird's-eye view of the fireworks extravaganza.

O For top-notch and innovative seafood specialties, head to the Flying Fish at Disney's Boardwalk where entrees such as Potato Wrapped Florida Red Snapper with a Creamy Leek Fondue are the norm. Contemporary and trendy, yet whimsical, this restaurant will absolutely delight the senses with its festive room of flying fish mobiles, sea blue sparkling mosaic floors, and golden fish scale pillows. Named a Wine Spectator Restaurant Award winner, it boasts an excellent international list. Do not forget to save room for the unforgettable desserts, in particular the banana napoleon with warm caramel sauce.

O Fine dining in a standardized setting combined with virtually flawless service sets Victoria and Albert's in Disney's Grand Floridian Resort apart. Here in this AAA Five-Diamond awarded restaurant you've served a sumptuous seven-course meal on white linen set with Royal Doulton china and sparkling crystal. Those seeking a special evening should book the newly-remodeled, 6-person chef's table found in a candle-lit alcove in the kitchen, a spot perfect for an up-close, behind-the-scenes look at Disney's top chef in action.

O Epcot's Bistro de Paris is a charming Belle Époque dining room with an air of exclusivity. Filled with gilded mirrors and crimson banquets, its billowy white drapes frame windows that overlook the World Showcase Lagoon. Servers with delicious French accents roll out sensational dishes prepared with only the freshest ingredients. After dinner enjoy a dessert of crepes prepared and flamed tableside while lingering over cordials and coffee in anticipation of the Illuminations spectacle.

O Disney's Animal Kingdom Lodge's premier dining room is the seductive Jiko where floor to ceiling windows look out on a boulder-strewn creek. Twin clay ovens draw the eye to the open kitchen where an eclectic blend of creations prepared with African flair are turned out in exotic presentations. Accompany your meal with a selection from the all South African wine list, the largest in North America. And do not leave without ordering the incredible dark chocolate filled beggar's purses served with a honey dipping sauce, one of Disney's best desserts.

So, for those who think that Walt Disney World is just for kids, think again! It's a world of fantastic resorts and innovative dining just waiting to be explored. You may never even make it to the parks.

Exotic Kitchen Design Makeovers From Around the World

When doing a kitchen renovation or designing a new kitchen for you custom built home, you can choose many different exotic styles from around the world. If you have a limited budget, you can decide on the style and slowly renovate your kitchen when you have the money until it is complete. It is an important part of your home and family so make sure that it has enough light and ventilation and does not have a cluttered feel.


This kitchen renovation will bring to your kitchen a warm rustic mood with earthy colors. These colors can include hues of olive green, and yellow, and mellow shades of burgundy, gold, and burnt orange. The Tuscan kitchen stems from the Mediterranean architecture so blue also goes well with this design. To give your walls a rustic feel, you need to texture them using builder’s sand to the paint or do rough plastering texturing. The counter tops should be marble or granite, a little tinge of terracotta on the walls, and wooden flooring. To illuminate the kitchen you can use central chandeliers. To add a Mediterranean flare, use scented herbs and decorative bottles.


French people love space so if you have a small kitchen you should use pastel paint on the walls to give the appearance of it being larger. Use a knock-off French clock to hang on the wall. If possible, color coordinate your kitchen and dinnerware. The countertops should be either marble or wood. The windows in the kitchen should be large with wooden panes to let enough light into the kitchen. You can also use indirect lighting.


One beautiful thing with European kitchen renovation is their use of furniture that is made of glass, stainless steel, and chrome. Because of the furniture, this is not a suitable kitchen design to use if you have small children in the house because most this type of furniture is not kid-proof. The walls are white and with the gray of chrome and steel, it makes your kitchen look very spacious. To get this effect you will need the right number of lights. You should light the kitchen with the help of lighting from the ceiling.


This exotic kitchen renovation as a style of design that is similar to the European style, which is that both kitchens have the same minimalist features. This design will cater to your needs of aesthetics and storing. While in the European design, white is the main color but with the Italian style, you can use rustic, black, deep red, chrome, and white as the colors. Use chinaware or glassware with Italy’s kitchen style. To enhance your design choose decorative bottles for oils and herbs along with marble countertops, wooden flooring and under the cabinet lighting.

You Have More Support Than You Know

"God's the kind of guy you can trust," was my friend John's advice on
A particularly bleak autumn morning. At the time, I probably have one
Of those oh-please-do-you-think-this-is-going-to-help-me-pay-my-bills
Looks. Sure, he could trust the Universe. He had a beautiful wife and a
Great family. He lived in a glorious home and took exotic vacations. He
Drve a BMW– with a car seat. He did not roll his grocery cart down the
Aisle bypassing the artichokes because they were too expensive.

I looked at him with his picture-book-perfect life and my upper lip
Curled. I scanned my own life and felt like I was facing off against the
Green Bay Packers wearing high heels and a dress. And I did not see any
Solution in sight. Those dang credit card bills were pummeling me so hard
I was seeing double.

How could I even think of trusting in divinity? I had recently
Discovered that my husband was wildly unfaithful. On top of that, I had
Lost my business. I was living in someone else's pool house, driving a beat up
Borrowed car with a shredded roof because I was far too broke to afford
Even the smallest car payment, and surviving on peanut butter to pay off
Mr. Mastercard.

Sure John could trust the Big Guy upstairs. His life worked. Mine
Sucked. His GPS was functioning; Mine was obviously on the fritz. The
Higher Power assigned to him had trained him all the way to the Super
Bowl. Mine had left me sitting on the bench.

Oh, It's Easy for You to Say

Being a pretty sensitive guy, John picked up on my inner rant. He saw
Through the "crash and burn" of my circumstances and focused on all the
Good in my life. He reminded me, first and foremost, of my health and the
Wealth of people in my life who really care about me – like John
Himself and his wife, Gracie, for instance. I was fortunately to have such
Close friends during a tough time. Plus my ex-husband's mom was actually
Loving me a car. Oh, and yes, I had a small but lovely roof over my head.
Do not you hate it when people cut your complaining in half? I sure

I would look back on this time in my life and count it as a blessing,
John assured me. A blessing! I looked at him like he was smoking crack.
But he would not give up. I had the chance to be a phoenix, he said–
That ancient mythical bird that rose from the ashes of its own funeral pyre,
Miraculously born anew. He and Gracie knew that in the middle of my
Challenge was an opportunity for me to become a bigger and better person.
Bigger and better person? Ha!

But from John's perspective, my precarious situation was a noble quest.
I had unwittingly put myself in the flames. Now the decision was mine: I
Could roll around in the soot of feeling sorry for myself, or I could start
Making choices to become a more magnificent being. When he remindeded
Me that Spirit saw my goodness even if all I saw were the charred remains
Of what I had called my life, he stuck a powerful, deep chord.

I thought of Cinderella and the ashes. As a little girl I always wanted
To rush through the beginning when she was covered in cinders and
Wearing rags, and get to the part where she wore pretty clothes and got her
Prince Charming. Even as a kid I was a sucker for a good tiara and a great
Dress. I sighed a deep breath and figured it was time to dust the ashes off
And go find my ball gown.

John was right. If I had a shovel to dig myself out of my mess, the
Universe had a backhoe (that's one honking big digging machine).
Regardless of what it looked like, maybe a Higher Power was supporting
Me. Trusting Spirit, however, was as foreign to me as football. I grow up
Playing with Barbie's, for goodness sake.

Shaun T Insanity VS the P90X Workout Program – Which One is Better?

Over the next couple minutes you will learn the comparisons and differences between these two rival “workout at home” exercise programs.

The P90X workout program used to be the one exercise program that everyone knew thanks to early morning and late night infomercials. Recently Beachbody added a new program to the game that to some may be considered a rival, that program is Shaun T Insanity.

But which one is more intense?

Comparably they are both equal in their own rights but each workout program focuses on a different approach towards fitness.

I have personally used both programs and this gives me the rare opportunity to offer a first hand look at both the P90X workout program and Shaun T Insanity. After this article you will be fully equipped with the answers you are looking for.

Which works better? P90X or the Insanity workout?

Great questions, though it’s hard to put both workout programs side by side as it’s not a simple apples to apples comparison but more like apples to oranges. Both programs are capable of offering a huge physical challenge but each has it’s own approach and it’s own target results. I’ll explain.

The P90X workout program is a 90 day system which could otherwise be considered an “at home boot camp”. You will need a chin up bar, a chair, a set of dumbbells and/or bands, shoes, plus about 1 hour to 1 hour and a half 6 days a week. The 7th day is an optional stretch or complete rest day.

From first hand experience I like to look at P90X as a “all-in-one” program. It is not designed to just bulk you up, it’s not going to just help you lose weight, it’s not just balance, and it’s not just cardio.

The P90X workout program just tosses a bit of everything into the equation. You lift heavy one day (or light if you want);, you’re punching and kicking with Kenpo karate another day, and to top it off on other days you will be doing 1 and a half hours of Yoga for a complete mind/ body/ soul adventure.

You will go through three phases of 1 month each in P90X with each month switching it up. Most of the cardio, stretch, and balance routines stay the same. The difference in each phase is that you change out the resistance workouts so that your muscles are constantly challenged so they will always be receptive to the workout rather than plateauing.

Shaun T Insanity takes a completely different approach. The workout program is 60-days in length and is based solely on Plyometrics, Core, and Cardio training. You will not lift weights, you will not do chin ups, you don’t need a chair, and the workouts range from 35-45 minutes the first phase to 1 hour and 15 minutes the second phase.

You will need very good shoes, preferably a mat to jump on, and near perfect form to avoid injury.

You can already see that Shaun T Insanity is different than P90X so how are the comparable?

The Insanity workout program, though shorter in length, is based on maximum effort Interval cardio. Meaning it’s all about fast, powerful, and coordinated moves. You will still be doing push-ups just like in P90X but otherwise you only use your body, gravity, and will power to push through.

I am telling you from personally experience, with Insanity you literally drip buckets of sweat, seriously! Just because it’s shorter than P90X doesn’t mean it’s not as intense.

You will not be running in one place for an hour, you are jumping around, squatting, balancing, and crunching your core. Shaun T Insanity is on the same level as P90X but the difference is you don’t need extra equipment, you won’t be lifting weights, and the workouts go by much faster.

Insanity is more for the leaner ripped look while P90X will allow for more muscle size and strength.

If you have already completed P90X then I will tell you this. Shaun T Insanity is like taking P90X Plyometrics, doubling the intensity, and doing it 6 days a week.

So which one is better, P90X or Shaun T Insanity?

I don’t think you will find one “better than the other” but what you will find are two different approaches towards fitness.

P90X is a longer 90 day program that has longer workouts but incorporates a slower pace compared to Insanity offering more time to adapt and become stronger. Also you are lifting weights so there is more potential to gain size and muscle definition.

Shaun T Insanity is 60 days with much shorter and faster pace workouts, you won’t be able to adapt as fast and you won’t get great results by pausing through each workout. Insanity is a balls to the walls style workout, it’s straight forward and fast but demands major motivation and energy.

Both workout programs have a “mix-it-up” style so each one changes things throughout the program so there is no monotony.

One final note, if you have knees or lower body joint issues, Insanity may not be for you. It is based on a lot of jumping and really can and will tax your knees and joints if not performed correctly. It is much higher impact compared to P90X. That is something to consider when looking at the two side by side.

Because of the approach Insanity takes I like to look at it this way. If you feel you are P90X capable and are in decent shape, if you can do push-ups, chin-ups, and if you can handle interval cardio, then either program is suitable.

If you cannot do some or all of the previously mentioned exercises then it’s better to avoid Insanity until you can at least complete P90X. Insanity is not a beginner workout, so if you just stepping back into the physical fitness game, throw the ego out, start somewhere small and build up.

This Is War

It's 9:00 am, Monday, June 6th, and I am laughing with nerves, unsure of what to expect. My hand shakes slightly as I force biscuits and gravy into my already unsettled stomach. I've been wide awake for hours before my alarm, roaming around the room, trying to keep myself busy. But as soon as it goes off, I want to disappear into the comfort of my bed and stay under the covers until the hotel kicks us out.

My mind dances back and forth between the two options before me: "Do not think too much about a negative, you need to prepare for the worst …" "Do not think too much about a positive … you can 'T break down before. " I try to focus my attention on my friend and my lover, worrying about what the next hour will bring for them rather than me.

At 9:30 am My friend and I are packed and in the car, waiting for the other to check out of the hotel. Of course he is making us late and I am focused on him and the potential traffic rather than what it will mean to finally walk into the hospital.

At 9:45 am I arrive at the hospital and argument with the desk clerk, telling her that I want to pay out of pocket instead of applying for financial aid since I am not using insurance. I can tell that she obviously thinks I'm insane, and my appointment for neurology probably solidifies her thoughts.

Walk to the elevator. Wait.

Find the waiting room we need. Wait.

Continue laughing, talking about unrelated things, and focusing on subjects we did not really care about then and do not really care about now. The distance between DC and Columbus. The weather outside and the rolling hills on our drive. What to eat for lunch.

At 10:00 am My genetic counselor walks into the waiting room and does not say a word. I half smile at her, recognizing the look on her face immediately. We all stand like zombies, half walking and half floating over to her. When I get closer, I feel my feet touch the ground again.

I know. In her face, I can see the answer.




C7. Room C7.

"We're in here" she says and gestures inward.

My immediate thoughts: Okay, this is real. This room is cramped. Maybe it's negative. Where should I sit? Is my doctor really introducing herself to my boyfriend right now? Out of all things, does that matter? She holds out her hand to him and it hangs there for what looks like forever. Who is sitting where? There are not enough chairs. Is everyone okay? It's warm in here. My genetic counselor is still half smiling. Okay …

There is an awkward struggle and hesitation between everyone. My posse is finally imprisoned and I am squished between the man who swears he loves me and the uncomfortable arm rest on the small bench we share. There are too many people in the room. The heat from the loved ones around me surrounds me and I feel cramped but secure for one second.
Just one second.

I imagine my doctor hovering for a few minutes before she sits down and opens the folder. I know she's already seen it. She knows what she has to say. My mind flashes in what looks like bursts of light, photographing every few seconds and making time fly by without my knowledge of what is really happening. She does not hesitate for a moment.

"We got your test results back and unfortunately you tested positive for Huntington's."

Duh you got my test results back. Oh. Deep breath. Heartbreak. Shit.

I start crying, one hand covering my entire face as the other clenches my two friends' hands at once. I feel the love of my life tense up next to me. His chest tightens and his heart bursts through his ribs. He is frozen, as everyone else in the room seems to be, but I am catching fire. The spark I always felt finally burst into flame. I expected this, at least somewhere inside of me I knew, but he was the one who kept the hope for a negative result alive. And now that hope is gone.

What do I do? Stop crying. Ask questions.

"Do you know the CAG repeat?"

"Eighteen from your mom, forty-three from your dad."

I hear my heart shatter inside and I lose my breath. I take a minute as I sob and then pull myself together again.

Quit looking me in the eyes lady, I'm fine. I knew my CAG would most likely mutate up, so I was not too surprised. I can handle 43. I can fight with 43.

My lover wraps his arm around me and starts stroking my shoulder and arm. Does he know what this really means? I should ask.

I stop crying again, wipe the wetness from my face and simply ask, "Now what?"

Please tell me what to do next.
My mind returns to normal speed and it suddenly starts racing between every question I really wanted answered. What is the best doctor around here? Are there any in this building or across the states that I can talk to? How do I get a hold of them? Are there drugs I can start taking to slow things down? What research do you know of, or are you doing, that I can participate in? How do I get into clinical trials?

I can not actually ask these questions, as my throat has not caught up to my thoughts yet. Plus, I know the answers to some of them already but I want to hear it from her. I need something positive to come from her.

Her response is something like: "Take all the time you need to figure things out."

What. Obviously not what I needed or wanted to hear. I'm not a sit-back kind of girl who waits for time to take control of things. I take control of things for myself. And you, the professional doctor who is supposedly to be good at delivering this kind of news, are not being helpful.

Let me out of the room, please.

Silence … lots of staring … waiting for me to break down.

I know the psychiatrist, the social worker, and the genetic counselor are all ready to watch me break into a million small pieces on the floor. And honestly, before she spoke at all, that was what I would have expected from myself, too. But I'm not going to. I do not need to. I want to take action. I want to do something right away. And all they are doing is staring at me in silence, snot and tear stains covering my face.

I want to melt into my boyfriend and disappear. I want to read his mind and feel his pain because I am alright and I want him to know that. I keep telling everyone that I am okay. The room is getting smaller and I am getting warmer and sweatier as my nerves and newly-lit fire combine and I want out.

"I'm okay."

The doctors ignore my desperate plea for release and instead prod me with questions, slowly and painfully. I get why they're doing it. They have to make sure I will not jump out of the hospital window or do something impulsive on the way home. But I have the two best people in my support system standing next to me. I have the best supporters waiting back home, texting me, and sending their love. I have people wanting to hear – people that I want to tell! Sitting in a small room that's beginning to feel like a jail cell for an hour is not what I need.

My Boyfriend.

My awareness of his body and attempts to stay put together for me trigger something. I want to mourn the loss of my life for him, with him, but I can not with all these other people watching.
Instead, I turn my head into his shoulder and cry. I cry hard. "I'm so sorry." I'm so sorry, "I repeat in my head.

I feel as if the doctor's announcement ripped something away from him suddenly and unexpectedly, like discovering a wounded you did not know you had. Now, it's stripping away the rights of a future that everyone is born with, a right I now know I do not have. It's destroying the possibility of us dying of old age together, from him more so than me. I mourn the loss of our kids and any possibility that they may have held for him and for us.

"I'm so sorry."

He does not have to be here. He did not have to go through this with me. And he does not have to stay. But I will actively love him more every single day. I will commit to spending my life with him in a way that will make this process easier for both of us in the end. All I have is now and the next few years before this disease takes over. My time to love him will be limited, while his clock will continue ticking beyond my wellness and into my illness, into the time when it is harder to love someone who may not be able to love you back.

I will give him all that I have but I will not expect him to stay when my body is taken over and my mind starts to think he is evil. He can, if he wants, but I will not chain him down, because my love goes beyond him, beyond us, and into the eternal happiness I wish for him.

"I am so sorry for bringing this to you, for inheriting an illness that will take me away from you. You did not sign up for this. I do not deserve this.

Stop crying. They will not let you leave if you keep crying

"Okay" I say, asking to leave with just that word.

They ask me what I am thinking about as I stare down at the floor and avoid theirs eyes.

I reply, "Who to tell first."

The doctor responds with, "You do not have to tell anyone if you do not want to."

I know this, but I'm going to, probably moments after I walk out of this door. I will not sit back, I can not sit back. I have to let people know. They have to join me in my fight.

I need to tell my friend who shares the same CAG number as me first. I need to tell her that she is not alone. "We are twins."

My mom.

I have to tell her. I start crying again. "I'm so sorry, Mom," I think as I ignore the doctor's stares.
I hope her memories of me as a young girl playing with chalk and imaginary dinosaurs in the driveway is not tainted. If my symptoms present themselves as schizophrenia and paranoia, I hope she still reminds me as her sweet little girl.

I hope when she sees me struggling with the involuntary moments that I will call my dance, she thinks of me at 5-years-old, walking on my dad's feet to our favorite songs. I hope she does not see my symptoms as a replacement of my dancing as a child, but views them as the same, just filled with a new purpose.

I hope she can still see me as a 2-year-old, throwing tantrums out of hunger or sleepiness, rather than the anger and emotional outbursts I may present in years' time.

I hope she's okay with her grandchildren being dogs and cats for the rest of my life.

I hope she does not blame herself. She could not have known. And I hope I can out-live her because I am not okay with placing this burden upon her shoulders.

My brother.

Because inheriting HD is a 50/50 chance, I can joke that he's in the clear. I'm taking the bullet on this one and that's the way I would have asked for it anyway, if I could have. But I am sorry, because we do not know. And I am sorry that you may be the caretaker for both your dad and your little sister.

You've worked so hard to build your career and follow your dreams. You deserve the rewards you receive from that and the peace that it should offer you and your future family. It is not fair, and I love you for encouraging me to test and place this burden on you. I wish we could go back to swinging outside, riding bikes down the street, and building snowmen together.

My dad.

How do I tell my dad? He has not talked to me in over a month, and I am scared that he will feel guilty. "I am so sorry" I cry. I knew it would be this way. I felt it and I have known for years now. Maybe you knew too, Dad, and that's why you were so scared. I really am okay, I promise. We have fought this fight together for fourteen years and I know we are prepared to fight it together for the rest of our lives. We will be okay, and I love you for making me as strong as I am and for giving me the weapons I need for this battle.

Stop crying. I say I'm okay once again. "I need to leave this room or I'll keep crying."

The doctor finally handed me the sheet of paper connecting my CAG numbers with my alias, her signature sitting at the bottom as if she was signing my life over to this disease. She gets up to open the door. The doctors politely tell me to reach out to them if I ever need anything.
"Okay," I say, assuming that I will not.

Walking out the door means walking back into real life. It means that I will forever be surrounded by people who do not understand, who will never understand. Forty-five minutes before, when I was standing here without the knowledge of having Huntington's Disease in my genes, was the last moment in my life that formed of this uncertainty. And with this new realization, the hallway becomes foggy, tainted over with the truth.

I do not remember walking out. I just remember floating on feet that knew their way and wrapping my arm around the love of my life. A nurse in room C2 calls out "Have a good day!"

I burst out laughing. Reality hits. I start crying. Then in a confusing mixture of both laughter and sadness, my loved ones around me panic in attempt to see if I am okay and I start laughing again. I will attack this thing with humor and laughter, with love and joy. I will complete my days one at a time from here on out because that is the only way to get through it. My smile may distort over time, but I will never lose my laughter.

People keep telling me that despite my strength, I am allowed to break down. I am allowed to not be okay. But what they do not understand, and what may just be my immediate reaction for now, is that I really am okay. I have lived the last 8 years assuming that I had this disease. Testing positive for the HD gene mutation means that I hardly have to change my plans. In a way, it is a relief to finally know.

Growing up with one parent in the household who also has Huntington's Disease brave me the weapons I need to start this battle. I have been training for years and years, building up my ammo in preparation for the first bomb that signals the beginning of this war.

I always knew there was something living inside of me that did not belong and I felt that almost every day. There's a little devil sitting on my genes, waiting to spring loose, and now that I know he is there, I can attack before time hands him the power to destroy me. He has limitations that I do not.

With each twitch in my foot and every stumble of my words, I can find strength in his taunting and turn it around. With all the evil he has planned and all the pain he has let me experience, I can build up walls and expand my army. I can join research trials and be a part of history in ways that other HD advocates may not be able to. I can tell my story to Congress and fight to pass the Parity Act. I can make the future better for myself and generations after me that receive the same news that I just have.

I have ways to fight that this little devil does not know about. While he plays jokes on me, I prepare for war. This is more than just a battle against Huntington's disease: This is a war for my life and my loved ones. I do not need to say sorry anymore; I just need to fight. I am finally a Huntington's Disease warrior and I can not be stopped.

How to Keep Your Car Clean

Today you are going to learn some easy and practical ways to keep your car clean. Nowadays most people are always in a hurry and can hardly find time for their car. But its maintenance is very important. After all, you probably travel with your vehicle every day. It does not feel comfortable to see all the mess inside, does it? Here are a few tips about how to maintain your car in good condition:

Do not eat inside – unfortunately a lot of people have this bad habit. Eating inside is one of the most unpleasant things you can do in your car. You might throw out the wrappers immediately, but that would not help a lot. Just think about all the crumbs and stains that may be left behind. If you want to keep the interior clean and shining, you'd better avoid this action.

Hang a trash bag – even if you do not eat inside, there is always some junk and useless stuff. Hanging a remove bag on the back of your seat would be a very wise solution to this problem. You can use it for papers, water bottles and all the other trash that may be acquired there. At the end of the week, you just take the bag out and throw it away. It is that easy!

Knock your shoes before getting in – of course, you can not get in your car with completely clean shoes, especially when it rains or snows outside. But you might do a little trick to reduce the dirt. Just sit down on the seat with your legs outside. Then knock your feet together. That should at least free the footwells from some spoils and grime.

Wash your floor mats regularly – even if you follow the last advice, you can not fully protect the floor mats from getting dirty. But there is an easy way to clean them. First a little vacuuming to take away the big chunks. Then you scrub the mats with soap and water and let them dry. Follow this scheme regularly and you will manage to maintain them neat and clean.

Keep your car in a garage – if your car stays outside all the time, it will need a proper cleaning a lot more frequently. Keeping it in the garage is the best way to protect it from all the dirt that Mother Nature can bring. And if you do not have a garage, just try to find some enclosed space. It will help a lot for the outlook of your vehicle.

These are the recommendations for maintaining a clean and nice-looking car. Try to follow them and you will quickly notice the positive effect. Of course, in case of a real mess or car damage (it happens to everyone), you can always call professional mobile car valeting service. Just think about what will be the best option for your car and take all the necessary measures.

How To Clean Your Top Loading Machine

A washing machine, no matter what type you own, should be given much care and attention. A washing machine gives you service selflessly so it is only proper that you return that service by maintaining a regular cleanup or, if necessary, a repair session.

While the front load machine has gained much popularity recently, I understand that there are still so many homes who are using the more more traditional top loader. Many reviews say how the front loader is so much better as compared to its top loading. However, if your top load laundry machine is still working great, I do not see any reason for you to get rid of it and replace it with the other model.

You do need to take care of your top load laundry appliance. Be it new or old, cheap or expensive, name-brand or not. Do not wait for the day when you are getting ready for the big laundry day and you suddenly find out that a brood of spiders has already taken possession of the tub and the drain hose. Quite a gruesome picture, right?

You do not need to be an expert when it comes to fixing furniture and appliances to do the job. Not only your washer but also your clothes will thank you. To effectively clean your top load washer, here are some easy tips.

White vinegar to clean the tub

Turn the machine on but do not leave any clothing or garment inside the tub. Make sure the tub is empty and devoid of any foreign materials. Yes, that includes the candy wrapper. Once you are ready, set the machine to hot water cycle, better if you can also operate it on the largest load setting, and let it run.

When the tub is already full and is beginning to agitate, add three to four cups of white vinegar to the water inside the tub. Let the vinegar mix well with the water and then add a half cup of baking soda. Allow the machine to continue agitating. After around a minute or so, turn the machine off and let the water mixture sit for a minimum of thirty minutes to around one hour.

After one hour, restart the machine and allow it to complete the wash cycle. While draining the tub, do not stop the machine and instead, advance it to the spin cycle. So as the water drains, the tub continues spinning; This helps in removing stubborn dirt and lime residues. Then turn the machine off.

After turning it off, wipe the tub and all the other parts inside the washing machine with a cloth soaked in half hot water and half white vinegar. Wipe all through the inside of the tub including the agitator. If you want, you can use a brush to reach the narrows areas.

Why do we use hot water, baking soda and vinegar? First, hot water will dissolve the other two substitutes more efficiently and quickly. Vinegar is effective in removing dirt and even lime deposits that can be found in the laundry machine's water passes. These lime deposits are usually caused by the tap water you use in washing. On the other hand, baking soda deodorizes the tub and gets rid of the sour taste left by the vinegar.

Bleach to remove unwanted odor

This follows pretty much the same steps as the vinegar and baking soda technique. Before you start pouring in the cleaning materials, make sure your tub is empty. Remove all things that may be damaged specifically garments. So first, fill the tub with hot water and let it run on the largest load setting.

After the tub has been filled, let the water agitate. Then, add three to four cups of your trusted chlorine bleach. Let the chlorine bleach mix thoroughly with the water and then turn it off. Let the mixture sit for about one hour. After one hour, restart the machine and let it run a full wash cycle. To make sure there is no odor left, you may repeat the process using baking soda this time. Also, if chlorine bleach is not readily available, you may use baking soda all through.

Use less detergent

Okay so this is not exactly a cleaning tip. This is however, a good tip for you to avoid serious buildups inside your washing machine. You may not know it but you can use half the amount of detergent that you usually use and still be able to clean clothes. Rinse the clothes thoroughly and make sure no suds are left to harden inside the washing machine. This is also true for fabric softeners and other substances that you use for laundry.

The Best Flooring Options for Today's Home

Choosing flooring for the home is a difficult process, but one that should be taken seriously. When you've chosen the right floor, your home will look well-decorated and charming. You can also enjoy the value that flooring deliveries to each room, as it has a way of bringing the home together in harmony. Whether you're building a new construction or upgrading your space, choosing the right floor can only be achieved when you know the available options.

There are many flooring options on the market and knowing which one is right for your housing should be based on your budget and lifestyle. Hardwood flooring is often regarded as one of the best floor choices for the home, as it's beautiful and offers a lifetime of value. Unlike other flooring selections that need to be replaced over the years, hardwood can last forever with the proper maintenance. It is solely to scratches and dents, especially if you select a softer floor.

For these reasons, many people are choosing to go with engineered wood instead of solid wood floors. While solid hardwood is made entirely from hardwood, engineered hardwood has a plywood center and a hardwood veneer glued on top. This type of flooring is becoming quite popular, as it offers the look of hardwood but with added strength and durability. More importantly, engineered wood removability stability, which allows the flooring to adapt to different temperatures. At last, the limitations that solid wood once presented can be overcome with engineered wood.

While hardwood flooring options are very popular with homeowners, some feel it is too expensive for their budget. Furthermore, wood is difficult and time-consuming to install. An alternative is laminate flooring, which is quickly moving up on the popularity scale. Laminate offers a world of advantages, as it's attractive, easy to install and cost-effective. The top layer of laminate is a real picture of wood or stone, which gives the floor its rich and natural appeal. And because the snap-and-lock installation method can be done on your own, the floor can be installed over the course of a weekend without having to call in a professional.

No matter which of these hardwood-type flooring options you choose, you can expect your home to be full of character, while having a floor that's easy to maintain and will last for many years, some even a lifetime. Yet even with these advantages, some homeowners feel that flooring is best served with something soft and luxurious. The only type of flooring that offers this feature is carpet. Carpet continues to evolve with modern technology, as it's made with better fibers, more Eco-friendly materials and improved padding.

Carpet is ideal for families, as it provides a soft and comfortable place to sit and play. There is a wide spectrum of color to choose from as well. If you're not sure about wall-to-wall carpeting, some homeowners have shifted their focus to carpet tiles instead. These tiles can be installed without a professional. This cuts down on the cost of installation and the tiles serve as the perfect option for in-between flooring projects. Plus, you can create fun patterns with the tiles.

If cost is the largest issue, the best flooring options are vinyl tiles. Vinyl tiles are self-stick and easy to install. They can be purchased by the-box and like laminate, be installed over the course of a weekend. Vinyl is available in so many colors and styles; You're bound to find something you like.

Another advantage to vinyl is that it has no limits as to where it can be installed. Place it in the bathroom, basement or kitchen and you do not have to worry about spills, water damage or temperature changes because there are many flooring options . To enhance the look, try sheet or luxury vinyl selections. These higher-end vinyl options look like real wood or stone and will not have any separation between the tiles, which leads to a flawless look.

Essentials Of Leadership PLANNING: The Mnemonic Approach

I feel so strongly about the essential need for leaders to become quality planners, and understand why effective planning is so necessary, my company name indicates it! It’s not enough to merely have good intentions and/ or ideas, but one must have a method and/ or approach, to accomplish any worthwhile task. Most have heard the adage, People don’t plan to fail, they fail to plan, yet in my four decades of qualifying, identifying, developing, training and consulting to thousands of actual and/ or potential leaders, I’ve come to realize, unfortunately, there is still far too little quality, meaningful planning, and/ or considering objectives, goals, service, and ramifications. Let’s use the mnemonic approach, to briefly consider, the essentials of real leadership PLANNING.

1. Priorities: How can you even begin to plan, unless you first, identify, and then, understand, your principal goals and priorities? Far too many end up wasting their time, energy and resources, sweating the petty stuff! The priority – based approach, is not only effective, it is smart, efficient, and properly focused, and by its relevance, motivates far more people, to become more involved, and to care more deeply!

2. Listen; learn; lessons: Your first lesson to learn and follow, is to listen far more often than you speak! Why do you think you were given two ears, but only one mouth? When you pay attention to what others say, care about, and are concerned about, as well as their perceptions, doesn’t it make sense, you are in a far better position to serve them, and plan accordingly?

3. Attitude; aptitude; attention: Proceed consistently with a can – do, positive attitude, and always avoid blaming and/ or complaining! Develop your skill – set, so your aptitude is honed sufficiently, to enhance your knowledge, and hopefully, provide you, with greater wisdom! Pay attention to everything you hear, observe and/ or experience!

4. Needs: Great leaders are needs – oriented, and always aim to prioritize actions, which will benefit the organization and its stakeholders! One must realize, also, one can’t fully achieve this, without focusing on becoming a better leadership planner!

5. Nuances: Do you understand what makes your organization different from others? Do you know how you might be different from others? True leadership is not one – size – fits – all, but rather involves customizing your plan, to address these nuances!

6. Integrity; intensity; ideals; ideas: Will you continue to fight – the – good – fight, even when most others give up? How might you maintain this high level of intensity? Are you able to proceed with absolute integrity, even when taking a short – cut, might be easier and/ or more popular/ expedient? Are your ideals aligned with those of your group? Are you an ideas – oriented leader?

7. Never (say never): Do you have a never – say – never attitude, and will you maintain your persistence, despite obstacles, etc?

8. Goals; generate goodwill; growth: Your goals (not personal, but for your group) must be an essential component of your priorities! When you focus on service to others, and addressing their perceived concerns, etc, you will generate goodwill, When you combine this mindset, with effective, professional planning, you optimize your organization’s growth potential!

Remember the adage, Good things come to those who wait! If you plan effectively, and are persistent and patient, you will be using the most important essential of leadership PLANNING!

Setting Up Your Nikon D3400 DSLR Camera Properly

Setting up your camera properly when you get it is very useful because it ensures that you get the best quality pictures and video. This article shows you how to set up your Nikon D3400 DSLR.

The first thing you need to do is to get your battery and to charge it. When you buy the camera you will receive a battery and a battery charger and, although the battery may look like it is fully charged, it is worth just getting it an extra hour or so in the charger to make sure. The reason for that is that by fully charging and then fully draining your battery as you use it, it does extend the life of your battery. Once you’ve charged it, you then place it into the camera which is in the socket here at the bottom. It can only go in one way – it goes in with these contacts at the top and it goes in only one way, so if it doesn’t go in very easily you’re putting it in the wrong way. Then you just close the door.

The next thing you need to do is attach the lens. If you bought the kit lens, which is a great buy, then you will get that in the box with the camera. If you look on the side of the camera here, there is a white dot and if you look on the side of the lens you will see also there is a white dot. So, take off the two caps very carefully, match up the two white dots, gently fitting it into the bayonet socket and then twisting it anti-clockwise until it clicks.

Now, although you get nearly everything you need in the box when you buy the camera, for you to take pictures pretty much straight away, the one thing you don’t get when you get box is a memory card. Of course you need a memory card to store the pictures and the videos that you shoot on the camera. We suggest getting a SanDisk card and the reason for that is that sound discs will guarantee the life of the card. It is important to remember they won’t guarantee what’s on the card but if the card fails SanDisk will replace the card. It is a little extra. The way you put the card into the camera is on the side socket here. You open it up by pulling it slightly forward and you put the card in facing to you. Just push it in until it clicks and what you’ll notice is that when you push it in completely a green light flashes on the back of the camera to say that it’s being done properly. If you need to take the card out then you just press the card and it’s on a spring and it will just bounce out again.

On the other side are two other ports. These are very useful because they are a USB port which allows you to transfer your pictures directly from the camera to a laptop computer and beneath that an HDMI port which allows you to show your pictures on a TV. Neither of these leads are available in the box so if you want to do either of those things you need to buy the leads separately. Once you’ve inserted your memory card the next thing to do is to switch the camera on. But first take off the lens cap and activate the lens. What I mean is that you press the button on the side of the lens and you extend the lens out. You need to do this in order for the camera to work because if you don’t the camera won’t take any pictures.

Once you’ve done that you can switch on the camera. Once you have done that you will see in the back screen that you’ve got various choices to make. First, choose your language and you do that by moving the cross keys left to right and up and down.Then select the language and pressing OK. Ignore the SnapBridge option for now. You choose your date in a similar fashion and you also then choose your time zone in exactly the same way, by using the cross keys on the back. All of these things can be changed later anyway so don’t worry too much if you get them wrong or in fact if you don’t want to worry too much about them now and bypass those options and to return to them afterwards.

The next thing to do is to format your card. The first time you use your card you need to ensure that it’s formatted correctly for this camera. Press the menu button – the menu that you are looking for is the Set Up menu. That is the spanner icon, so you go down here and then the second one down is format memory card. Now there’s always an element of danger when you format memory cards, particularly once you started using the camera. If you format the memory card, you delete everything on it. Even pictures that you think you have protected will be deleted so you need to be very careful when you format cards. However when you’re doing it for the first time you are perfectly at liberty to go to YES and click OK and it will format the memory card and attune it to this camera properly.

Well you can shoot pictures with this camera now, but the best thing to do is to select your image quality and your compression quality before you do so. The first thing to do is to go back into menu. In this instance we’re looking at the Shooting Menu and if you go to down then the first thing you come across is IMAGE QUALITY. Now image quality talks about compression rates not about the file size but the compression rate is important. You can shoot RAW images with this camera but I would recommend initially at least, shooting JPG. The option I would choose would be JPG FINE Because that’s the best compression rate for this camera. Once you have done that, you move one down to IMAGE SIZE and again there’s no point shooting medium of small images with this camera I would say the best thing to do is to shoot large images. The memory card will probably be enough – a 16 or 32 gigabyte memory – to shoot hundreds of pictures so you are not limited by memory space as we once were so there’s no reason not to shoot large and not to shoot fine JPG images. As we are in the Shooting Menu, why don’t we go down one more from IMAGE SIZE to ISO sensitivity. When you switch the camera on for the first time, then the settings are set so that the Auto ISO sensitivity control is on. That means that when you’re in the basic Preset Modes the camera will choose the ISO setting. If you look below the Auto ISO sensitivity control it will set the maximum sensitivity according to what’s chosen there and when you get the camera and you switch it on to the first time the maximum is 25600. I would say that when you’re taking normal pictures you probably don’t want to go above 1600 probably 3,200 at the most. By leaving it as it is, you allow the camera to choose far higher ISOs than you otherwise might wish. So if you go into this setting I would suggest that you make the maximum setting as I say 6400 and I would also switch the ISO sensitivity control OFF because that then means that you have more control over the ISO in the basic settings and also in the manual settings.

After setting the ISO I would stay in the Shooting Menu and move one down again to white balance. It is important. Initially I would put white balance on auto. What white balance does is it sets the white in the picture. If you know anything about colors you know that white is a combination of all colors and so once the camera can set white, it can also set the values for all the other colors. So it is very important and it is also very important if you’re shooting somewhere where the balance of light is not normal, for example if you are shooting in an office where the light may be slightly blue, or if you are shooting at home under artificial light where the natural color of the light might be slightly yellow. Now you are not going to see this with your naked eye because your brain manages to filter that those tones and those colors out, but the camera will see it and it’s important that the camera is initially is on AUTO so that it can set the white balance itself and try to balance all of the different color components that it sees through the lens.

Now you’re in a position to take a picture or shoot a video. You can either do this through the live view screen which enables you to see what is through the lens or you can do this through the more conventional DSLR way which is to look through the viewfinder. The viewfinder can be attuned to your eyesight. So if you look through the viewfinder and although the camera says what you’re looking at is sharp, it doesn’t look sharp to you, you can use the dioptric adjuster which is on the side here to change the focal length of the viewfinder which means that you can look through it and it looks sharp when in fact the camera says it looks sharp. That’s very useful so take some moments just to focus and refocus on a few different things and just check that the viewfinder, when you’re looking through it, looks sharp when the camera says that it is sharp.

One of the things that I change almost straight away is the Auto timer. Cameras have timers on them now in order to help save the battery charge and that means that sometimes they switch themselves off and it can be really annoying. But you can set your own auto timer length by going into the camera and into the Menu Settings. Go into menu and you go into the Setup Menu then by going down on to the next page – there are quite a lot of settings here – you will see AUTO OFF TIMERS as an option. If you select that then you can either select Short, Normal or Long which is a fairly generic term that talks about how long the camera will be on before it switches itself off or how long the back screen will be on before it switches itself off. Or you can go down to CUSTOM and you can select those lengths of time that you prefer. That’s what I do. I go down to CUSTOM and check the ones that I want which are playback and menus, image review which is the length of time the images on the back screen for you just to look at after you’ve taken it. Live view which is the live view screen and the standby timer which is how long the camera is on standby before it switches itself off.

The next thing I’d be looking at here is the monitor brightness. Now the reason for that is that sometimes either in direct sunlight or even when it’s very dark, you might want to change the brightness of the back screen monitor so you can see the picture or the video more clearly. The way to do that is to go into MENU and go down again to Set Up Menu and move down from the Memory Card option which we have seen before, to MONITOR BRIGHTNESS. In order to go in you click on that and then you can move it either up five or down five. Now just to bear in mind that changing the brightness of the monitor does not change the exposure of the picture the two are not related, so you could have a very bright monitor to see the detail of what you are photographing and it won’t affect the photograph itself. But it is a good way of checking detail and making sure that you’ve got the right composition for your picture if the lighting conditions behind the camera aren’t so good.

There are a couple more things to mention before the end of the video. The first one is the beep. When you set up your camera for the first time you will notice that when you start taking pictures, when the camera focuses correctly, it will beep and that is great for the first few times, but after a couple of days that will really start to annoy you. So the thing to do is go into MENU and then coming to Set Up Menu and two pages down at the bottom you will see BEEP and I would suggest you select that and you turn it OFF because it will otherwise drive you mad.

Now the last thing I want to show you is very useful once you have taken your pictures. If you go into Playback Menu, once you have taken a picture and go down to playback display option then you will see that you have options that give you information on the picture once you have it. so you’ve got the options of showing the highlights, the RGB histogram, shooting data and overview. These are really useful bits of information and they’re useful for you to recall and go back to once you’ve taken the picture and you just want to see what settings you have or actually during the live shoot when you can look through the RGB a histogram or the tonal histogram where your picture may be failing or just not working to its optimum. So they are very useful things to have and by allocating and switching those on when you go into Playback Mode and you look at your pictures by pressing the Cross Keys up or down, you will be given these pieces of information with the picture also viewable on the view screen. It is a really useful way of just keeping control and keeping an eye on the various options and settings that you have when you take a picture so for example it will give you as I say the histograms but also the ISO. It will give you the focal length, it will give you all the various autos in terms of white balance or whether the flash was on etc. In the old days when you were shooting with film you would have taken a notebook and written all of this down, but because it’s available on the back screen it makes it a whole lot easier. Those are the basic settings for the Nikon D3400.

Why I Wish My Homeless Sister Could Live With Me in Germany

I just finished exchanging messages with my fiance’s sister. The owner of her storage unit, the place where she keeps the unsold remains of her life, is putting all of it up for auction. She could not afford the payments. She is staying at some person’s house who finds it appropriate to steal Pokemon cards from her 8 year old son. Previously to this, she stayed at the local homeless shelter in Salt Lake City, Utah. At first she was placed in a woman’s shelter with her 4 kids. She felt somewhat safe there. Unfortunately they told her it was time to “relocate” to the downtown homeless shelter. She had been there before. She did not want to have to take her children to this place. So she decided to move into an apartment which is owned by a friend’s husband. Unfortunately, one of the conditions for staying there is that she has to put up with a messy, nosy, thief of a roommate. Not completely safe either, but at least the risk of theft or bodily harm is lowered this way. She has been trying to get a job. Job interviews are not going so well, because her teeth are infected and rotting. She feels ugly. She is supposed to show strength and confidence which she does not have. Then, where does she leave her children? Her youngest hasn’t started school yet. She has no income to pay day care centers or babysitters. She was thinking about having her oldest daughter watch her while she attends job interviews. It might work. She worries but she keeps her hopes up. The job interviews she has attended did not work out. She doesn’t have any work experience. You know… other than busting her ass keeping a roof over her head and keeping her family together. They are all sleeping in one room. Which is used as a party room while they are not home. The other people living there leave shot glasses on her mattress which she uses as a bed. She pays for the room in chores. Cinderella and her attic. She keeps her money in her shoe, her underwear. Anywhere that keeps it from being stolen. She suffers from all kinds of pain. Most likely brought on by stress. She is aware of that. But she doesn’t have time to meditate. To relax. She is falling apart while trying to hold her family together.

I know some of you are wondering how a mother of 4 could get herself into this situation. I guess I could tell you some sob story about how terribly difficult her life is and it would not even be a lie. But the truth is… she messed up. She made bad decisions. She put herself where she is. With the help of a system that is simply not designed to sustain a person like her, but nonetheless, it was her fault.

She got pregnant with her first child at a very young age. Yes, I know. This is how it always starts. Pregnancy one ended with a cowardly father fleeing to some unknown place in Latin America. Pregnancy two came around. This time, the father actually tried to be there. Tried to be a family man. Unfortunately, the US immigration system would not have it. On his son’s birthday, they arrested him and deported him to Mexico. Let’s leave out pregnancy number 3 and 4 because we can all see the pattern. So there you go. You have your juice for causing a stink on why this woman deserves what is happening. Despite of this, she decided to pull through. Child number four is now 6 years old and starting school after the summer. For years, they all lived together, in a housing complex, no real income other than food stamps and section 8 housing. Unfortunately, although you are provided with a place to live, you also need to pay your bills, have phone service, buy school supplies and buy toilet paper, shampoo, laundry detergent. Something you cannot buy with food stamps. So the bills piled up and the housing authority had enough of it. So there she is. Mother of four, on the street and no fathers.

Yes, she totally screwed up. She made a load of bad choices. But does that mean she should live in poverty? Does that mean that the roof over her head should come with conditions of bullying and sleeping with one eye open? She doesn’t want a mansion. She doesn’t even want the expensive conditioner. She just wants a 2 bedroom apartment and a job.

In the meantime I am sitting here, in Germany, with my flat screen and my Netflix account, eating popcorn, watching “Breaking Bad”. And I can’t help but wonder why the poem on the pedestal of the Statue of Liberty says:

“Give me your tired, your poor,

Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free”

Because the tired, poor and huddled masses seem to make up the majority of the US. I am not going to pull some lame political speech. I just think the hypocrisy is evident. I think my sister is proof of the giant middle finger which the US seems to pull out every time somebody mentions the words “poverty” or “homelessness”.

Either way, this is her fault. She does not want to negate that fact. But I, too, have made mistakes. I have made terrible choices. I, myself, got pregnant, while incredibly poor in the US. Lucky for me, I am a German citizen. I had a way out. I ended up in a place that supports families, mothers, people. I came back here, and the first thing that happened was dental care. In fact, the very first thing my boyfriend, a US citizen with a German daughter, did, was get his tooth pulled. Which was something he simply could not afford in the US. In the US, they stuffed him full of Vicodin and told him to wait it out. Right after the flight, his tooth was out. The dentist told him he could have died. Then it just kept coming: “Health Insurance with full coverage, medical and dental”, “Erstausstattung”, which is: money given to you free of condition to buy furniture. “Kindergeld”, 184€ a month, “Elterngeld”, 150€ a month for 2 years of parental leave, “Arbeitslosengeld”, 709€ a month for our family to get by, plus rent paid for a 3 bedroom, 75 square meter apartment, and utilities. Some of you might think: “Well, then why would anybody actually want to work?” And I agree. It is a problem. Some people become lazy because they are taken care of, no matter what. However, those people make up a small percentage of welfare receivers. And I was not one of them. I am currently visiting a university, tuition free, studying English and German. I receive something called BaföG, which is a kind of grant to support you during your years of college. This is 710€ a month plus healthcare. More than anything I receive understanding, support and motivation to become the one to pay taxes to support people like me. This is incredibly motivating.

7 years ago I lived the US. Illegally. Married to a US citizen, but still illegally because I could not fulfil the conditions that came with applying for residency. Most of all I could not afford to apply. My husband did not make enough money to be accepted as my sponsor. But I loved the US. I did not want to leave. So I did odd-jobs for neighbors and friends. Never enough to actually have to file taxes. Poverty was a way of life. A lifestyle which I adjusted to. This is possible. However, I did NOT have children. The thought of raising your child without the means to do so is terrifying and I realized this shortly after embracing the rock-bottom lifestyle I had adjusted to. After enduring years of psychological abuse and willingly staying married to Uncle Sam, my marriage fell apart and I got pregnant by another man only a few months later. We were incredibly poor and could not even afford the ultra sound procedures. You see how my choices are not any less bad than her choices?

She screwed up. She made terrible decisions. But she deserves to be supported. Not because everyone should have a free ride. But because everyone should be given a chance to become a motivated, successful person. Just one chance. The US tends to spit on people who need help. The US tends to reject those who are in need rather than support them. And even if that is not evident in the liberal facade it covers itself in, everyone living under the reign of self-doubt due to being less fortunate than others will tell you that.

Everyone should be given the benefit of the doubt, to pick themselves up and make something of themselves instead of scraping at the bottom for leftovers until there is nothing left but regret, shame and self-doubt.

5 Facts You Should Know About Volcanoes

Volcanoes are relatively interesting. A volcano is an opening that occurs on the surface of the planet. The opening permits magma that is excessively hot, various types of gases, and ash to escape from within the earth. While most of us typically understand the core concept of a volcano, there are still many interesting facts surrounding this mysterious yet powerful natural type of landmass. In this guide, you will be introduced to 5 facts you should know about volcanoes. If you are interested in mysteries of the world or simply have an interest in natural occurrences that the earth experiences, you will find these fact quite fascinating.

1. Volcanoes have the capability of affecting the population. It has been established that massive eruptions for medium to large volcanoes may impact the planet in such a negative manner that it pushes it into a volcanic based winter. As a result, large populations could be impacted and evolutionary based changes could occur.

2. Throughout the world, there are an estimated fifteen hundred volcanoes that could be active at any given time. The most volcanoes recorded in specific regions include both Hawaii and Alaska.

3. Volcanoes have the capability of being dangerous even during the times that they are not classified as erupting. Volcanoes could result in polluting the region that it is located in and could also result in seismic based activity that could result in various types of landslides.

4. The pollution that is emitted from a volcano is actually more dangers than the lava of the eruption itself. The debris that is emitted from a volcano could result in acid rain, which is highly devastating to humans.

5. Many countries and travel agencies make a massive amount of money from the fact that a volcano in their area could be experienced. Many will pay higher rates because they believe that they may be able to watch a volcanic eruption.

As you can see, these 5 facts you should know about volcanoes are not only entertaining, but necessary. By knowing these facts, you could protect yourself, others, your finances, and educate others on the ferocity of these natural land masses.

Golf Chipping Tips – The Fly Roll Ratio

A chip shot is made when the ball is very close to the green – usually within a few years – but not actively on it. The primary goal is to get the ball on the green and as close to the hole as possible, but an easy put. Chip shots differ from pitch shots in that they are much closer to the green and therefore need much less flight and distance. However, like pitching, chipping tends to be one of the more difficult shots for many amateur players simply because they are usually very unique and quite difficult to practice on a regular basis. As a result there is an endless list of golf chipping tips available, though the shots themselves remain difficult.

Unlike the pitch shot, where you really need to gain distance by flying the ball but do not want it to roll very much; chipping is the exact opposite. The golden rule of chipping is to achieve just enough air to get the ball on the green and past any obstacles, while allowing the ball to roll as much as possible. As a result, people have devised an interesting flight/roll ratio calculation that can help you achieve better chipping. First, it is important to note that effective chipping requires the proper use of different clubs and these different clubs have a direct bearing on how well your chip shot is likely to go.

First, it should be noted that these formulas are based on both a professional, well squared hit and the results are based on a level green and using a normal pace. Therefore it has to be understood that you have to calculate which club is best for your given situation regardless of these core results. Further, in order to take full advantage of this system, you will have to have a full set of golf clubs and good experience at using them properly.

Under the circumstances described above, a pitching wedge (the 10 iron) will fly half the distance and will roll half the distance, for a flight/roll ratio of 1:1. The 8 iron will result in the ball flying one third of the distance and rolling two thirds of the distance, 1:2. The 6 iron will fly one quarter of the distance and will roll three quarters of it, 1:3. In order to address an uphill or slow shot, you should generally down to the next club: therefore if you judge you need 1:1 ratio to make your shot, but it is steeply uphill, you would use the 8 iron instead of the 10 iron. The inverse is also true if you are swinging down hill and fast: so if you feel you need the 1:1 ratio in this scenario you would move up to the lob wedge.

This basic idea is common among golf chipping tips and is frequently known as the “6-8-10” method or technique. As such it is easy to find out more about how this system works and it has a proven track record of significantly helping people with their chip shots. However, as noted above, this system – like most others – only works if you already have a well developed swing and can hit the ball correctly.